COUGARS • UPDATED: MIDNIGHT
The usual Thursday practice is finished, with Washington State running through the game plan on both sides of the ball. We have more from the workout, plus cover what coach Paul Wulff had to say in his press conference, so read on.
• UPDATE: We have a story on the 2011 Washington State football schedule in today's S-R. The Cougars open Pac-12 play at Colorado, also play UCLA on the road. Host Utah and ASU from the South Division. All the games can be found below.
Here's the whole story and schedule ...
PULLMAN – Washington State will make a trip to the Los Angeles area during the 2011 football season under the new Pac-12 Conference schedule that will be officially unveiled today.
The Cougars will face UCLA and new Pac-12 member Colorado on the road and host Arizona State and Utah, the other first-year member, as their four crossover games with the South Division.
And WSU, which had the latest bye in the conference this year, will have one of the earliest next, getting a week off after its three nonconference games.
The Cougars will open the 2011 season by hosting Big Sky Conference member Idaho State on Sept. 3. They travel to Qwest Field – returning after a one-year absence – to host UNLV a week later then head down the coast to San Diego for a game with the Aztecs.
After its only bye, WSU will open Pac-12 play in Boulder at Colorado on Oct. 1 before traveling to the Rose Bowl for the second consecutive season.
WSU's division games are at Oregon, California and Washington, with the Apple Cup set for Nov. 26, the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
The latter two games will be played at off-campus sites – Cal at AT&T Park in San Francisco and UW at Qwest – as both schools will be in the process of rebuilding their on-campus stadiums. Oregon State and Stanford will visit Pullman in October, along with ASU and Utah in November.
• 2011 Washington State football schedule
Sept. 3: Idaho State
Sept. 10: UNLV (at Qwest Field)
Sept. 17: at San Diego State
Sept. 24: Bye
Oct. 1: at Colorado*
Oct. 8: at UCLA*
Oct. 15: Stanford*
Oct. 22: Oregon State*
Oct. 29: at Oregon*
Nov. 5: at Cal (AT&T Park)*
Nov. 12: Arizona State*
Nov. 19: Utah*
Nov. 26: at Washington* (Qwest Field)
• Not much to report from practice, mainly because it was the typical Thursday run-through-what-we-want-to-do-Saturday hour and a half. On the offensive side of the ball, Jeff Tuel's receiving corps is a little thinner than usual with Jeffrey Solomon and Daniel Blackledge out. Blackledge should be back next week but Wulff said Thursday Solomon won't play the rest of the season. ... The running back corps is thin as well, with Leon Brooks suffering a concussion Wednesday and out for a while, joining James Montgomery on the sidelines. Expect Marcus Richmond, Logwone Mitz and Chantz Staden to get the bulk of the work, though Arthur Burns may play some as well. ... Over on the other side of the ball, the defense worked hard Thursday, with an emphasis placed on wrapping up the ball carrier. When one linebacker flung a running back around, but not down, Chris Ball stopped everything and took the opportunity to forcefully point out the error of his ways. ... And that's about it. ... I opened Wulff's press conference with a comment about the weather as this might be the nicest early November in the Inland Northwest I can remember in my 27 years here. Wulff did admit he would have liked it cold and wet on Saturday, but that's not going to happen. The forecast continually changes, calling for warmer and dryer weather. ... There was more discussion about the injuries and the seemingly inexhaustible number of concussions and concussion-like symptoms. Wulff said the New England Patriots experimented with different types of mouthpieces and had found a decrease in concussions, so that's something WSU will look at in the offseason. ... The reason I didn't mention Carl Winston with the running backs above is because Wulff said they want him at 100 percent before using him and his hamstring was still in the 90 percent range. ... One area that has seen some players return is the secondary, with Aire Justin, Anthony Carpenter and Chima Nwachukwu returning. Wulff also said Nolan Washington played his best game against ASU. ... Sekope Kaufusi is not going to play again until they are sure he won't do more damage to his left shoulder. ... Wulff talked about reserve offensive lineman Andrew Roxas, saying he has an eye injury and will not return until after the byes. He would not say how it happened. ... Wulff said Cal's pass defense has improved considerably from last year when Tuel had the best game of his career. ... And that's about it. We do have a link for you to our story in tomorrow's S-R about Tuel and his former high school teammate Beau Sweeney. You can read it now here.
• That's it for now. We'll be back in the morning with some news about 2011 if you are interested. Until then ...